Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Last Call

And speaking of obvious efforts to disenfranchise traditional Democratic voters in swing states, a state judge in Pennsylvania has refused to block the state's bogus voter ID law that's so clearly awful that it had one GOP official crowing it would hand the state over to Romney in November.

A state judge on Wednesday refused to block Pennsylvania’s controversial voter ID law. Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson’s 70-page order wasn’t yet available on the court’s website, but a docket entry noted that the law would not be enjoined.
Simpson did not rule on the case’s merits, only on whether it could be enjoined.  Opponents of the law are expected to appeal to the state’s Supreme Court.

Time's running out, of course, so the GOP is dragging their heels to kill the clock.

Opponents of the law were confident it would be overturned when the trial wrapped up in early August. The state had admitted it had no evidence of in-person voter fraud taking place in the state and did not expect in-person fraud to take place if the law wasn’t enacted.

Remember, this is a law that prevents "voter fraud" that doesn't exist...but in doing so it prevents hundreds of thousands of the poor, the elderly, urban minorities and students from voting by throwing up extra barriers.  And should Pennsylvania not be able to provide the hundreds of thousands of voter IDs it needs to send out to people who don't drive or can't afford an ID card, well that's just a shame that their votes won't count, right?  Gotta protect the vote.

Apparently it needs to be protected from Democrats.  Who knew that the GOP coming to power in the state would lead to such an obvious effort to rig elections to forever stay in power?

Oh wait.  Everybody knew.

Teabagger Threat Matrix

Keep in mind the point of open threats like this is to not only stoke the GOP base, but to remind the rest of the voters what they're in for should they choose to re-elect the President. 

A small group of protesters in Elkhart, Indiana gathered near a tea party billboard on Monday, decrying the political ad for comparing President Barack Obama to terrorist leader Osama bin Laden.

The billboard, paid for by a tea party group We the People of Marshall and Fulton County, says: “The Navy Seals removed one threat to America. The voters must remove the other.”

The demonstration was organized by the Elkhart County Democrats, Occupy Elkhart activists and Indiana Senate candidate Jim Ball (D), according to The Elkhart Truth. The protesters described the billboard as “ignorant” and chastised the tea party group for “adding militaristic jingoism” to the political debate.

Sue Chilberg, a local Tea Party activist, told The Elkhart Truth that she supports the billboard because it urges voters “to do something about the very real threat of socialism.”
 "Wouldn't it be easier if Mitt Romney was in charge?  You swing voters can make all of this go away, you know..."

It's terrorism aimed at swing voters is what it is, let's be honest.  If only people would "remove the threat" of Obama, so if you voters do it, the unsaid "then one of us won't have to" remains unsaid, you see.  Bonus points for comparing him to Osama again, that was soooo 2010.

But somebody called Bush "Hitler" once, so it's all completely fair because DON'T TREAD ON ME and my rights to not have a black President, right?

Scare The Crap Out Of Grandma

It looks like 60 Plus, the pro-GOP SuperPAC outfit designed to outright lie to seniors about the Affordable Care Act (and they did a hell of a job in 2010) is back this year in Florida and Ohio, trying to turn the conversation away from Paul Ryan's Medicare cuts by scaring your grandparents about "Obamacare's death panels".  Politico's Alex Burns:

The conservative 60 Plus Association is launching ads in the Ohio and Florida Senate races today, criticizing Democratic incumbents for the Independent Payment Advisory Board set up by the Democratic-backed national health care law.

I reported earlier this week that 60 Plus was gearing up for a fresh round of ads. The spots – shared early with POLITICO – feature singer Pat Boone saying that “a lot of promises were made regarding health care reform,” that haven’t panned out.

The new health care law creates a board of 15 unelected bureaucrats. It’s like a Medicare IRS, with a power to cut Medicare in order to pay for new government programs,” the narrator says.

The ads close with Boone reappearing on screen: “Call Sen. Nelson. Tell him, unaccountable bureaucrats should never have the power to deny you the care you deserve.”

The ads start running today with $276,000 behind then in Florida and $232,000 behind them in Ohio.

Which is a complete fabrication, by the way.  The board can make suggestions about cutting waste and fraud, but ultimately their suggestions have to be acted upon by Congress.  It's only if Congress or the President refuses to even consider their suggestions that they can be implemented without a vote on Capitol Hill.  Otherwise, the board is effectively toothless...unlike the unelected insurance company officials who get to decide who lives and who dies every day by denying coverage.

Those are your real death panels, folks.  And Paul Ryan wants to put them back in charge of everyone's health care, including those who would be receiving Medicare in the future and cutting benefits from those receiving Medicare now by making massive cuts to Medicaid, which goes to help the most vulnerable seniors.

It's clear that the right doesn't want to talk about Paul Ryan's plan to hurt seniors.  All they can do is lie about Obamacare and hope that you once again fall for it.

omg txt contest winner

A 17-year-old has out-tapped the competition to hold onto the title of being the US's fastest texter.
Austin Weirschke from Wisconsin beat 10 other competitors at the sixth National Texting Championship held in New York.
Contestants had to do one task with their vision blocked and another with their hands behind their back.
Mr Weirschke said he planned to put the $50,000 (£32,012) prize money towards paying for his college education.
The competition - which is sponsored by LG Electronics and featured one device with a physical keyboard - put three skills to the test: accuracy, speed and dexterity.

The article actually has a lot of interesting factoids, including the many ways they test the competitors to ensure they have the champ.  They raise challenges I would have never thought to, including how to type words backwards, or while facing distractions.

I'm glad to see the winner is going to use the funds for college.  Let's face it, many wouldn't be so mature, especially the stereotypical youth who sends 500 messages a day to train for this.

Well done, sir.

Follow Up: Woman Shot In Hospital "Mercy Killing"

CLEVELAND (AP) -- John Wise watched a tear roll down his wife's face as he stood alongside her bed in the intensive care unit. She'd been unable to speak after suffering a stroke and seemed to be blinking to acknowledge him, Wise confided to a friend who had driven him to the hospital. 
The couple had been married 45 years and Wise told his friend that they had agreed long ago they didn't want to live out their years bedridden and disabled. 
So a week after Barbara Wise's stroke, investigators say, her husband fired a single round into her head. She died the next day, leading prosecutors to charge the 66-year-old man with aggravated murder Wednesday in what police suspect was a mercy killing. 
The shooting leaves authorities in a dilemma some experts say will happen with greater frequency as the baby boom generation ages - what is the appropriate punishment when a relative kills a loved one to end their suffering?
It brings up a lot of good points.  First, killing is killing.  He shot his wife, and while motive helps us understand, it doesn't change the fact that he committed murder.  She could have been crying because she wanted to live.  She may have recovered, given time.  Even if this was a mercy killing, it was premature and unfair to both of them.

But should it be murder?  That's when it gets complicated in a hurry.  It's been a while since I've taken this topic, so let me refresh my stance for new readers. I believe in supporting those who choose to go out fighting to the last breath if that is what they want to do.  I also support ending suffering in a rational, dignified and well planned way if that is what someone wants to do when facing terminal illness.  It's time we regained ownership of our lives, and  the ability to declare our end of life wishes, free of what others want to impose on us.  Our medical choices are our own.  It's time for the law to allow us to make choices and put them down to be honored, in there with allergy information and other medical standards.

Also let it serve as a reminder that accidents happen.  Pianos fall from skies, drunks drive at all times of day. If end of life decisions are important to you, handle it now.  Don't just tell people what you want and hang the burden on them.  Write it down, get it taken care of so the people who love you most aren't torn.

This is so sad from so many angles.

Epic Presidential Shinkuu Hadoken Win

So, this happened.

See, Orange Julius?  He's doing something about the drought.   By SHOWING THE SUN WHO'S BOSS.

Unleash Joe Biden, Chain Of Fools Edition

Vice President Joe Biden made an unfortunate choice of words on Tuesday.

A defiant Vice President Joe Biden is denouncing Republican criticism over his remarks to southern Virginia voters that presidential challenger Mitt Romney would put them "back in chains" but concedes he meant to use different words.

The campaign flap began after Biden told supporters in Danville, Va., that the Republican ticket wanted to "unchain Wall Street." He then added: "They're going to put y'all back in chains."

Biden, speaking later in Wytheville, says he had meant to use the term "unshackled."

But he did not apologize and mocked the Romney campaign for showing outrage.

Nor should he, considering Rick Santorum and Allen West beat him to the punch months ago

Rick Santorum invoked chains last summer to warned Iowa voters that health care reform would lull citizens into government dependency. “They will put you in chains called ‘Obamacare,’ and you will never break away,” Santorum said.

Florida Rep. Allen West went a step further, likening Obama’s programs to slavery. “He does not want you to have the self-esteem of getting up and earning and having that title of American,” West said in July. “He’d rather you be his slave.”

The difference:  Joe Biden is man enough to admit he could have used a different phrase.  Keep that in mind.


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